The 2019 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season will see BMW adopt a newly-developed 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is to be fitted into its M4 DTM race car. The move is driven by a change in the regulations – specifically in the powertrain department – thus affecting all participating racing teams and unifying the series with Class 1 regulations.

Works driver Bruno Spengler has just sampled a prototype with the downsized motor during the car’s debut at the Dingolfing plant. In previous seasons, the M4 DTM was powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0 litre V8 engine that’s restricted to 480 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a standard DTM six-speed sequential gearbox, propelling the M4 DTM from 0-100 km/h in about three seconds.

Apparently, the new motor will be “significantly more powerful” despite losing half the capacity, and this is achieved thanks to revised air inlets and outlets, as well as better intake and exhaust system. Further developments – in adherence to the regulations – will be made prior to being homologated.

BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “BMW Turbo Power has enjoyed success in racing for almost 50 years. In the first year with a BMW turbo engine, back in 1969, Dieter Quester was immediately crowned European touring car champion with the BMW 2002 ti. In 1973, the BMW 2002 turbo became the first German production automobile to feature a turbocharger. We are now adding a new chapter to this story.”

“Our first few kilometres of the Class 1 era went very positively. We are happy with all the functional tests. The new turbo sounds awesome. However, its most impressive attribute is its efficiency – despite being considerably more powerful than its predecessor,” he added.

Spengler added “After my first kilometres with the new DTM engine, I can hardly wait for next season. I can just imagine how much fun it will be to take to the track with so much BMW Turbo Power. You can feel the extra horsepower. We will put on even more of a show for the fans in 2019. The amount of time at full-throttle is reduced – but the top speed is higher than before. We will have to work even harder at the wheel.”

The adoption of Class 1 regulations will finally unify DTM with the Japanese Super GT series, a move five years in the making and which will see two joint races in 2019. Super GT has been using the 2.0 litre turbocharged engines since 2014.

Early tests in preparation for the 2019 season is scheduled to take place next month, from November 11 to 14, at Estoril, Portugal.